Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Rancho El Charco

After a miserably wet and cold day yesterday, it was so nice to wake up this morning to the sunshine and the warming temps which was just right for today’s adventure.

Retama offered a tour to the Rancho El Charco and we signed up.  So, around 2:30, we picked up Niles and Sue, our next door neighbors and headed to the clubhouse.  Once everyone was gathered, we caravanned to our destination which was only a few miles west of Mission in the town of La Joya.

We arrived at

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Rancho El Charco, which is a privately owned section of land that has been kept in it’s natural state.  Once we were all gathered, we

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loaded up our tour wagons and headed out!  We traveled down the old west

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trails enjoying some of the

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wildlife along the trail.  This is a female Black Buck which resembles an antelope.

Soon, we stopped for

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a history lesson.  We learned that this land was part of the original Spanish Land Grant.  We also learned that you can eat many parts of the

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cactus.  We sampled the fruit of the cactus, the prickly pear, which was served today

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as jelly on a jalapeno potato chip.  Yummy!

From here we went on a short walk to check out some

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old bison bones.

Back on our

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wagons, we once again hit the

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trail.  This time our wagon master took us past the

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old windmill to the

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Palapa where we stopped for a group picture.  This area of the property has been constructed for the purpose of parties and weddings.  There is a

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beautiful alter that has been build under the palapa.  And, the palapa sits beside

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this beautiful oasis.  This is man-made….not a natural to the area.  But, beautiful to enjoy.  We

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walked across the wooded swinging bridge and

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under the water fall and back around the small lake to where

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our friends were waiting to continue our journey.

Next stop allowed us to meet a few of the locals…we met

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this big tortoise.  Mark

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wanted to keep him.

We also saw

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a beautiful Peacock and

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a rabbit who wasn’t willing to share dinner with his other friends.  And, then there was

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the raccoon and the fox who were hanging out with a watchful eye high above our heads.  Next stop was to meet

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the newest member of the neighborhood.  This baby javalina is just less than a day old.

It was now time to wind down the tour portion of the trip, but not before seeing what else, but a true

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Texas icon.

As we reached our next stop,

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the dinner bell was ringing.  And, tonight’s fare was what else, but…

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Texas sized ribs, sausage cooked with peppers and onions, potato salad, and green salad.  And, yes….I saved my WW points for this!

During dinner, we were serenaded with

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some great old time country and western music.  A few of us

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stayed after dinner to listen while some of the others chose to take another walk down by the water.  But, by this time the Texas size mosquitoes were out and that left me inside.

But, as it was said by Willie Nelson,  it was soon time to Turn Out The Lights…The Party is Over.  And, all that was left of today’s adventure was

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this beautiful sunset!


  1. I wish I could have been there! what a beautiful place and you took terrific pictures.

  2. What a nice tour! Looks like it was fun.

    Karen and Steve

  3. Nice adventure...thanks for sharing it with us with your pictures!

  4. What a nice place to visit, and you had great weather, too. Nice pics.